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  • Aria Zoner

Destination Farmer's Market: A New Kind of National Scenic Trail

On the quest for fresh produce and scenic views, long-distance hiker Aria Zoner, a certified Nutrition Coach & Health Counselor has created 2 National Scenic Trail proposals highlighting hot springs, summits, and for the first time in National Scenic Trail history, Farmer’s Markets. In this post, you’ll learn How to tell a Hiker from a Hobo plus which Farmer's Markets are on these trails. Heck, one of them may even be yours!

During a long-distance hike, hikers will typically resupply their food periodically in towns along the way that are either passed through directly or are nearby and can be reached. Some of these towns may only have a gas station or post office (which hikers will send pre-arranged packages of food to ahead of time). Other towns thankfully, are blessed with grocery stores, co-ops, and local Farmer’s Markets.

Each trail in the National Scenic Trail System is unique in its resupply offerings. These 2 trails however, standout for not only their fantastic nature but their unusual amount of Farmer’s Markets.

Let’s take a look at each trail and see which markets are included in their official guidebooks.


Destination Farmer’s Market: A New Kind of National Scenic Trail

Part 1 - The Hot Springs Trail


The Hot Springs Trail is a 2,421-mile thru-soaking adventure that combines backpacking and hot springs soaking. In that theme it leads to 100 hot spring areas. Between these springs are countless peaks, dozens of parks and wilderness areas, and the potential to visit 16 Farmer’s Markets. Not all of these markets are “on-trail” though. Hitch-hiking or walking a few extra miles into town is necessary in order to visit each one. The good news though is, these markets are located in towns that would typically be visited to resupply anyway so you don't have to go out of the way anything extra. Let's take a look at the markets on the HST.

Farmer’s Markets located on or near The Hot Springs Trail:

1. (0.2m) from Mile 0 - Santa Barbara Farmer's Market: Located just moments away from Stearns Warf, on State St. Held year-round. Tuesdays, from 4pm-7:30pm.

2. (0.1m) from Mile 2.8 – Montecito Farmer's Market: 1100 Coast Village Rd. 0.1m east of Vons. Held year-round. Fridays, from 8am-11:15am.

3. (2m) from Mile 55.3 - Ojai Farmer's Market: Next to Rainbow Bridge Natural Food Store. Held year-round. Sundays, from 9am-1pm.

4. From Mile 202.8 or 211.1 - Tehachapi Farmer's Market: Held every Thursday from May 4th through August 17th, from 4-8pm. Located on Green St, downtown.

5. (0.2m) From Mile 302.3 - Wofford Heights Farmer's Market: Located 1m N of the Wofford Heights P.O. Held at the Lakeshore Lodge, year-round. Saturdays, from 9am-1pm.

6. Kernville Farmer's Market: Held in Downtown Kernville, on Saturdays, from 8am-1pm.

7. Mile 582.9 - Mammoth Farmer's Market: 3399 Main St. Held July-Sept. Wednesdays, from 4-7pm.

8. From Mammoth or Benton - Bishop Farmer’s Market: Go south on Hwy 395, by bus or hitch, to Church St. Turn west onto it and go 1 block. Held July-Oct. Saturdays, from 9am-12pm.

9. Mile 722.9 - Tonopah Farmer's Market: Held on Main St at the Pocket Park. July 21 to Sept 29. Mondays, from 4pm-dusk.

10. Mile 942.9 - Eureka Farmer's Market: Held at Main and Gold St. Aug 3-Sept 28. Thursdays, from 4-6pm.

11. (11.2m) from Mile 1074.7 - Lamoille Farmer's Market: July-8th-Nov 11th. Saturdays, from 8am-12pm.

12. (20m) from Lamoille - Elko Farmer’s Market: Hitch to access. Held at the corner of Hwy 227 & Commercial St. July to Oct. (Sat, 8am-12pm)

13. (17m) from Mile 1361.4 or (27m) from Mile 1,401.7 - Mountain Home Farmer's Market: Located in Railroad Park, downtown. Hitch Old Hwy 30 to access. Held May 7-Oct 29. Saturdays, from 8am-12pm.

14. (34m) from Mile 1590.4 - Ketchum Farmer's Market: Located at East Ave & 4th St, next to Atkinson Market. Hitch to access. Held June-Oct. Tuesdays, from 2pm-6pm.

15. (36m) from Lolo Hot Springs - Missoula Farmer's Market: Located in Circle Square, on the north end of Higgins Ave. Hitch to access. Held May 6-Oct 28 on Saturdays, from 8-12:30pm; and July 4-Sept 26 on Tuesdays, from 5:30-7pm.

16. (26m) from Mile 2219.5 or (12m) from 2270.2 - Sandpoint Farmer's Market: Held at Farmin Park, 3rd and Oak St. Hitch to access. This market runs May-Oct. Wednesdays, 3-5:30pm; Saturdays, 9am-1pm.


Destination Farmer’s Market: A New Kind of National Scenic Trail

Part 2 - The Siskiyou Peaks Trail


The Siskiyou Peaks Trail is an altogether different type of trail which has a goal of visiting the highest peak in 7 of northern California’s most remote wilderness areas. Covering 448-miles and spanning from Ashland, Oregon to Mt Shasta City, California this trail overlooks many of the farms and orchards that stock these markets. Hiking to wilderness summits, and visiting over 40 swim-worthy glacial cirque lakes, can develop an appetite to say the least. Here’s where hikers on this trail can get fresh produce, straight from the farmer.

Farmer’s Markets that are located on or near The Siskiyou Peaks Trail:

1. (0.05m) from Mile 0 – The Ashland Rogue Valley Farmer’s Markets: Visible from Mile 0. May-Oct. Saturdays, from 8:30am-1pm. To reach the Tuesday Market from Mile 0, continue up Main St for 5 blocks to E. Main, then go left onto it and proceed 06m to 1420 E. Main St. This one runs Mar-Nov, from 8:30am-1:30pm.

2. (21m) from Mile 92 – Cave Junction Farmer’s Market: Held every Friday in Jubilee Park. Located at 3075 Junction Ave. Market runs April-Sept, from 4-7pm.

3. From Mile 221.4, 243.6, or 343.2 – Etna Farmer’s Market: Continue 1 block past Diggles St to Collier St. Take Collier NW to Hwy 3. Market is year-round and held in the Dotty’s Restaurant parking lot. Saturdays, from 10-12pm.

4. From Mile 291.1 or 343.2 – Weaverville Farmer’s Market: Located at Lowden Park, on Washington St. SE of the Hwy 3/299 junction Held May-mid Oct. Wednesdays, from 4-7pm.

5. (5.5m) from Mile 382.8 - Dunsmuir Farmer’s Market: On Dunsmuir Ave. June-Oct. Thursdays, from 4-7pm.

6. Mile 411 – McCloud Farmer’s Market: This market is passed en route. Held at the McCloud General Store. Located on the corner of Broadway and Minnesota Ave. May-Oct. Saturdays, from 11am-3pm.

7. From Mile 371.9 or 448 – Mt Shasta Farmer’s Market: Held on Mt Shasta Blvd in the heart of downtown. Located 3 block past Berryvale. Runs May 22-Oct 16. Mondays, from 3:30-6pm.


Like growing produce from seed to fruition, creating a long-distance trail that can be hiked by civilians is no easy task. Although both of these trail have been in development since 2009, it’s only for the first time this year that hikers are starting to get out on them. Some hikers are even attempting to complete them as a single hike.

A thru-hiker is someone who has completed or is attempting to hike a trail (of any length) from end-to-end.

In preparation of hikers on my trails coming to your markets, and just to be sure that you can differentiate who's who, here's 3 ways to spot a hiker, who you might at first had thought was a hobo. Before long, you’ll be able to spot a hiker from a mile away. Let’s take a look at what the 3 most noticeable differences are.


How to tell a Hiker from a Hobo


Clue 1. Ski Poles

Aria Zoner - What's with the ski poles?

Hikers use ski poles as tools to help them travel thru vast areas of wilderness. Climbing over big mountains usually requires crossing creeks, rocky areas, and ascending or descending steep grades. This is why they're almost guaranteed to arrive to town hungry and won’t need a to-go bag. Realistically, they’ll probably be eating everything they buy as fast as they can shop.

Clue 2. Lightweight Foam Sleeping Pad

Long-distance hiker C4 sporting the classic sleeping pad style

Having come from remote mountains and wilderness, hikers might show up to your booth with shaggy beards and snow still on their backpacks. Sleeping pads are usually strapped to the outside of their bags too. In regards to fresh produce, a sleeping pad can be used as a shield to help shade and protect a pack's contents. The pad is stowed on the outside of the pack like this for easy access. In this way, a hiker is likely buy a pint of strawberries then throw his pad on the ground right there next to the booth and eat the whole thing. You see, nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction that a hiker has when they've made it into town and secured their next resupply.

Clue 3. Gaiters

Thru-hiker Rockin' - Packing produce and a mean set of Gaiters

The tell-tale sign of a long-distance hiker is gaiters. Not alligators! (Although both will attach to your ankle.) Gaiters are an accessory garb used to keep burrs and debris out of your socks and shoes. The kind we like to wear are usually made with colorful spandex material and as you can see here, are easy to spot.


In Closing:

In the future, if you happen to see someone fitting this description at your local Farmer’s Market, chances are that they’ve walked there. And since long-distance trails attract hikers from across the globe, there’s a good chance that they’re from another country as well.

"Dear Farmer's Market,

I would personally like to thank you for your service & tasty treats! And on behalf of the long-distance hiking community as a whole, we wish you an abundant and productive season both this year and in the future." AZ

See you at the Farmer's Market!



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